Schools holding Family Leadership Institute

Alisa Boswell

Portales Municipal Schools is holding its Family Leadership Institute today.

The program is geared toward building successful relationships between parents and teachers and parents and their children, according to Director of Federal Programs Henry Montano.

“It’s a districtwide educational program that focuses on providing families with knowledge, tools and inspiration to help their children succeed in school,” Montano said. “The objective of the institute is to teach parents and guardians the art and skill for family leadership and support of academic achievement and life success.”

Montano said once the program begins for the school year, there will be monthly meetings on a variety of topics.

The program is free and open to all parents within the Portales school district.

“Some parents like it so much, they want to come back and our hope is to get as many parents as possible to complete it,” Montano said. “It’s a good parental involvement opportunity. I had helped coordinate it in Clovis when I was director of federal programs up there. Parents become better leaders and it also assists in building that relationship between parents and schools and their child’s education.”

Judy Underhill, mother of three children in the Portales school district, said she completed the program last year and she liked it so much she plans to attend again this year.

“There were a lot of benefits to it,” Underhill said. “Each month, we had different topics. One of the biggest things was communication. Often times with parents and teachers, there’s communication flaws and we talked a lot about that and how to work on that. It reiterates how important it is for us as parents to be involved. The slightest bit of involvement makes a difference.”

Underhill said she thinks the program is a great source for helping children succeed as students and adults to succeed as parents.

She said she was also able to attend two conferences in Albuquerque for free last year as part of the program. She said she learned a lot there also.

“It was very relaxed fun and an informal time to enjoy ourselves,” Underhill said. “I want encourage parents to make it a priority to come and listen and participate. I hope that they are able to continue to fund it, because it’s a really good resource. This is definitely one resource that I don’t know one single family that wouldn’t benefit from it.